Cabinet minister Amber Rudd has made a bizarre analogy by comparing keeping no-deal on the table to wearing a seatbelt.
“The no-deal option is really a contingency plan,” Rudd told Newsnight’s Nicholas Watt. “I describe it as wearing a seatbelt when you’re driving a car.
“Just because you have a seatbelt on doesn’t mean you want to have a crash.
“That’s how I view no-deal Brexit. It’s there in case it happens, but very much at the centre of government policy is getting a deal.”
Rudd is one of a number of Conservatives who appear to be making their leadership pitches as the end of Theresa May’s premiership grows closer.
The remarks to Watt were part of a pitch for the centrist One Nation group of Tories, who include George Freeman, Nicky Morgan, Bim Afolami, Chloe Smith, Sir Nicholas Soames and Rudd herself.
Rudd said that her ‘seatbelt’ take on no-deal is what the One Nation group would look for in a future leadership candidate.
The group has said it would, under certain conditions, consider backing Boris Johnson’s leadership bid, who has pushed for a no-deal Brexit in the past.
They would back him if they could be assured that he would seriously pursue a Brexit deal, and leaves without a deal only as a last resort, explained Watt on Newsnight.
In an opinion piece for the Guardian, the group said that the next prime minister must honour the result of the 2016 refendum, but “must do so in a way that unites the 52% and the 48%”.
“Above all, any new candidate is going to have to measure their Brexit policy against our values,” Rudd told Watt. “And we’re trying to put our values and the policies attached to them at the centre of the future, rather than Brexit.”